Gul Hamaad Farooqi
CHITRAL: The supply of drinking water from Golen Gol to Chitral town remains suspended since Aug 20 (Sunday) due to damages caused to the pipeline from the blasting of the mountain near Nerdeth Gol by the National Highway Authority (NHA) which is constructing the Chitral-Booni road.
Consumers had earlier demanded that the pipe should be shifted to safer side before the construction work started on the road, but to no avail.
Local people told ChitralToday that boulders and dismantled parts of the hill collapsed on to the pipeline of the Public Health Engineering Department, which is the only source of water supply from Golen to Chitral town, and damaged it. The pipe is buried under piles of boulders and debris now.
Some 5,0000 people of Chitral town are now faced with shortage of potable drinking water. The PHE department has arranged an alternate source of water supply from Angarghon Shahshah.
When this scribe contacted the office of executive engineer PHE department and asked about the restoration of water supply, a spokesman said millions of tonnes debris and boulders had fallen on the pipeline and until and unless the contractor removed them the supply line cannot be restored.
Besides, he added, due to the reckless blasting the mountain above the pipes had developed cracks and could fall on workers in case they started repairing the supply line.
Prominent social and political personality of Booni Chairman Faizur Rehman said he himself was a contractor and used to cut mountain with jack hammer or excavator that was the safest way but blasting beneath the mountain after digging a 35 feet long tunnel by the NHA was causing cracks in the whole mountain which can even fall the passengers any time in the future.
He said there was best quality blacktopped road which was evacuated and damaged by contractor two years ago now we travelling on an earthen road having big ditches in its middle.
Social and political circle of Chitral have demanded of the higher authorities to direct the contractor to use jack hammer or other safer ways to cut the mountain for the widening of the road instead of blasting.
They also demanded an inquiry into the alleged use of substandard material in the construction of the retaining and protection walls, culverts and drainage pipes along the road.
Meanwhile, commuters are also suffering as the Chitral-Booni road is closed for hours by the contractor without notice for blasting of the mountain.